Can my dog get sick from eating a dead bird?

While dogs are known to eat anything and everything and seem to have stomachs made of steel, eating any sort of dead animal can pose a health risk. Dead animals may carry bacteria, parasites or toxins that could make your dog seriously ill.

It’s common for pets to eat things they shouldn’t. These could be things like food for humans, plants, materials, or even dead animals. (Yes, very gross – but common. ).

We frequently receive calls from worried pet owners whose dog or cat has decided to eat something—or someone—that has gone bad at UrgentVet. So, despite their indiscriminate taste buds, here is a straightforward guide to helping you make the best choices for your pet.

Why Dogs Like To Eat Dead Animals

Understanding why dogs enjoy eating or playing with dead animals is crucial before we go over what to do if your dog ate a dead bird. Dogs have been known to eat other dead animals in addition to birds, so it’s not just limited to birds that they consume after dying. You may be interested in also checking out:

Because of the smell, dogs are easily intrigued by dead objects. A dog’s interest is also piqued by smells, especially when there is a smell of decay. While it disgusts us as humans, dogs are drawn to it. Therefore, don’t be alarmed if your dog stops to pick something disgusting up with its mouth while out for a walk or if they discover a dead bird in your yard.

Have you wondered why this is so? According to popular theory on why dogs like to play with dead animals or put them in their mouth, it has to do with their wolf ancestors. By playing with dead things, wolves mask their own scent, making it easier for them to hunt. This is an instinct that has been passed on from wolf ancestors to the domesticated dogs of today.

Can eating a dead animal make my pet sick?

Dead animals and birds can pose many risks to pets. Some pets may need hospitalized treatment, while others may only temporarily lose our friendship and respect due to their disgusting eating habits. Common health hazards include:

  • Secondary poisoning — If the dead animal has consumed a poison (e.g., rat or mouse poison, pesticide) your pet can suffer the same toxic effects, which can be fatal. In addition, animals themselves can be poisonous or venomous – examples include: Bufo toads, certain insects, and even some fish.
  • Toxins — Birds and small mammal carcasses may carry clostridium botulinum (i.e., botulism), a neurotoxin that makes pets extremely sick and causes rapid-onset paralysis.
  • Bacterial infection — Some wild animals can be hosts for leptospirosis, salmonella, and other harmful bacteria.
  • Parasites — Wildlife commonly carry intestinal parasites, including roundworms and coccidia, as well as external parasites, such as fleas. Consuming a host animal can lead to parasitic infection in or on your pet.
  • Gastrointestinal distress — Mild irritation such as gastritis or constipation is the most benign—but still unpleasant—outcome. If signs persist longer than 24 to 48 hours, contact your veterinarian.
  • Even though pet owners frequently worry about rabies, there is very little chance that it will spread unless your pet was bitten while fighting a dead animal.

    Can My Dog Get Sick From Killing a Bird?

    Especially if you own a pet bird yourself, you might find that you can no longer tolerate your dog’s bird-killing frenzy. What if I saw a pretty little hummingbird hanging out in the garden and then my dog ate a hummingbird? What if I have a pet bird and my dog ate my bird?

    As mentioned earlier, if your dog eats a dead bird, they might get an upset stomach. However, the potential for contracting a disease from an infected bird is another worry. Salmonella infection in birds is possible due to the bacteria’s ability to survive in their gastrointestinal tracts.

    If your dog seems weak, it would be a good idea to take them to the vet. Additionally, when picking up dog waste after your dog has eaten a dead bird, you should exercise caution. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly to prevent contamination.


    Will eating a dead bird hurt my dog?

    Try to prevent your pet from eating/touching dead birds. Salmonella infection is possible if your dog has diarrhea after consuming a dead bird, so you should think about taking your dog to the doctor if this happens.

    How long after eating a dead animal will a dog get sick?

    This bacterium produces the deadly botulinum toxin. The majority of the time, clinical symptoms of botulism appear within the first few hours of ingesting the toxin, but symptoms can be delayed by up to six days in dogs.

    What happens if a dog eats a bird?

    Your dog will typically be fine if he eats the occasional bird. Intestinal blockages and bacterial diseases are the dangers posed by birds, as opposed to toxic threats from some amphibians. Usually, a bird’s bones and other parts won’t hurt you, especially if it’s still fresh.

    Can dogs get sick from birds?

    Eating bird droppings can expose dogs to caustic substances like uric acid and bacteria like salmonella, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other health issues in addition to putting them at risk for histoplasmosis.